• Microcredential Framework (where the centre is recognition)

    It’s interesting to me that the last time I actually blogged was a summary of the Epic 2022 conference. I had completely forgotten that I had taken such detailed notes, which is one of the things that I appreciate about having a blog for these things. In the past couple of years I’ve shifted some of my attention from the open education world to the RPL/VPL/PLAR world. Here in BC this is known as prior learning assessment and recognition, while in other jurisdictions it’s known as the recognition of prior learning or the validation of prior learning. Thanks to Epic, I’ve come to understand the broader umbrella as recognition. In…

  • Strategies for creating alternative (micro) credentials

    Part 3 of a series that includes Alternative Credentials, micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital badges, and Alternative Credential Stacking Depending on how alternative credentials are positioned, the strategies for developing these credentials depend on the level of stakeholders that need to get involved.  For example, a sector level strategy may involve engagement with provincial government, government agencies (e.g. ecampusOntario), industry, organisations and higher education institutions (HEI).     1. Establish guiding principles Central to the strategy is the need to adopt a set of guidelines or principles, and these tend to come in different flavours.  The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)  outline design, assessment, and implementation principles. The ecampusOntario microcertification principles and framework was co-developed by…

  • Alternative credentials – micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital badges

    I’ve had varying levels of interest in micro-credentials and its cousin – digital badges- over the years, ranging from “not interested” to “there’s great potential”. Part of the reason is that any innovation that resembles a twist on something that higher ed has been doing for decades, especially if technology is the twist, evokes an eye roll in me. This summer’s personal and consulting project had me diving in a bit more into the world of micro-credentials, stackable credentials, and digital credentials. And no, these aren’t all the same thing, but they occupy the same house called alternative credentials. Here’s what I learned: There are no common definitions Alternative credentials…

  • Examples of open education practices enabled by OpenETC infrastructure

    For some time I’ve been wanting to share some examples of what open education practices (OEP) enabled by open ed tech looks like in practice.  OpenETC provides open ed tech infrastructure to the BC higher ed sector in the form of 3 types of services:  WordPress, Mattermost, and Sandstorm click and go apps.  The most visible examples of OEP are in the WordPress part of OpenETC, since Mattermost (open source Slack) is a more private class or group space, and Sandstorm uses-in-practice aren’t visible to us as administrators. So this is a round-up of a selection of uses of WordPress in OpenETC. WordPress E-portfolios Last year, the biggest uptake for OpenETC…

  • Open Education Practices – A framework and self-assessment tool for institutions

    In a previous post, I wrote about how research on blended learning could provide some insights on open education initiatives. I pointed to an article by Lim and Wang (2016) who provide a useful framework and self-assessment tool for evaluating blended learning initiatives that I thought could be adapted to institutional open initiatives. The article is called A Framework and Self‐Assessment Tool for Building the Capacity of Higher Education Institutions for Blended Learning and it’s part of a volume of work published by UNESCO in 2017 called Blended learning for quality higher education: selected case studies on implementation from Asia-Pacific. I took a stab at tweaking this framework and am…

  • Open universities and the broader open narrative

    Today Martin Weller gave a really nice talk at the OU that was streamed for a global audience that was no doubt numerous. I’m told there’s a recording that will be posted for those who have missed it. There was a lot of rich information in his talk but Martin punctuated a few big points for me: Open universities were a higher education innovation and continue to be an innovation (I wholeheartedly agree). In fact, “innovation happened around an idea of openness”, which ensures its relevance. The Open University has been innovating open and ed tech for a long time (they were early adopters of Moodle and the biggest contributor…

  • Open infrastructure and open education practices

    One of the questions that I’ve been percolating and discussing with my OpenETC collaborators is the extent can you do open and engage in open education practices without open infrastructure. The timing is perfect, as I’m about to embark on a two week guest speaker gig for the MET course Planning and Managing Educational Technologies for Higher Education. This is the third year I’ll be doing a guest speaker spot in this course, and while in the previous years I focussed on the institutional organisation of educational technologies, this time I’m going to focus on the growing importance of considering open educational technology as part of the educational technology infrastructure of an institution.…

  • A crash course in ed tech and online learning for higher ed leaders

    One of the things I’ve come to appreciate is how challenging it can be for an institution to grapple with online learning and ed tech.  Leadership is so important and yet the top layer of an institution is generally not selected for their in depth knowledge of something many of us have dedicated our careers to. Even Directors of Teaching and Learning centres may specialize in other things, and have only an operational level understanding of ed tech and how it supports teaching and learning. The online learning in Canadian universities and colleges 2018 preliminary data is pointing – with a few exceptions –  to the growth of online and…

  • The gem of a conference that was ICICTE 2016

    Image by Gorg Malia, cartoonist, instructional technologist, and one of the incredibly interesting ICICTE organizers and attendees. A couple of weeks ago I had the great privilege of being the keynote speaker at #ICICTE 2016 in Rhodes, Greece.  I’ve got a couple of posts planned about the keynote and what I learned from the great presenters there, but first want to share some thoughts on what I thought made this conference a really fantastic 4 days. I’ll admit to having had a fair bit of conference fatigue for the past few years.  In the past 15 years I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a lot of ed tech-related conferences and the…

  • Dear LMS companies (and other ed tech sales people),

    Thank you for getting in touch with me, and for not bothering our VP and President and CIO after I didn’t initially respond to you voice mail or email request to talk about the latest features that your LMS has to offer.  In the six years I’ve been in this job, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of you, both in person and via other means.  I admire the enthusiasm and patience you have in a role where I personally would struggle, especially when trying to get people like me excited about your latest offerings.  I suspect it must be very deflating to talk to people like me, and I…

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